For decades, pet-dog trainers have emphasized the importance of exercising pups through play before attending training courses. Although this practice hasn’t failed us, new research suggests that we may have had it backward. Behavioral problems await the owners of overly bonded dogs as we anticipate the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, so a new take on improving the effectiveness of training techniques couldn’t be more timely.

Recently, Dr. Nadja Affenzeller reported the results of a follow-on study to her 2017 research, “Playful activity post-learning improves training performance in Labrador Retriever dogs (Canis lupus familiaris).” In that study, work with a group of Labrador Retrievers demonstrated that playing after training improved retention for 24 hours (the study was reported on for The Bark by Karen London, PhD). Her new research, which seems to not only confirm…

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